Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A response to Maria Kang

Maria Kang has come under a lot of scrutiny for a post she made on her Facebook page. Posting a picture of her stunning, ripped body and her three young children with the caption, "What's your excuse?"

Some of her followers found this to be motivating, and I can see why. However, I can also understand the criticism she received even more that called her out for "fat-shaming" (body-shaming, etc). After many flagged her picture as "hate speech" Facebook had it removed.

Good for her to have that body! Honestly. I'm amazed that she has three young children and has such an awesome body. She's like those mythical Victoria Secret models that walk the runway eight weeks after giving birth. It is a little unrealistic, though. Here are the problems I see that Kang fails to acknowledge in her posts that defend her picture against critics:

(Please remember that I, myself, advocate for a healthy lifestyle that includes a balance between exercise and eating well).

My problem is not with her advocating for a healthy lifestyle. I'm a half-marathon runner, yoga enthusiast, participate in strength training, and I eat (mostly) well, yet I don't have abs that show. My problem is that her picture is just as bad as any magazine editorial or advertisement that we use to typically blame the media for creating a society of young girls (and boys!) with eating disorders. The different is that her blatant caption is more direct in creating a message that can easily translate that I should look just like her and that if I don't, I have a problem. Why can't I be happy with my own healthy body?

I don't necessarily agree that her post should have been taken down by Facebook. It promotes a discussion and I think that criticism towards her post would be beneficial to teach her that she is being (or at least portraying herself as) extremely arrogant. Her entire job is to look the way she does, and I get that. But some of the people that see that picture are struggling, single parents, or students that work while going to school full time. Yeah, you can find the time but you may also be sacrificing your mental health for what Kang says is the ideal body type.

No comments:

Post a Comment